Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Coriolanus (Folio 1, 1623)

8The Tragedie of Coriolanus.
As often as we eate. By th' Elements,
If ere againe I meet him beard to beard,
870He's mine, or I am his: Mine Emulation
Hath not that Honor in't it had: For where
I thought to crush him in an equall Force,
True Sword to Sword: Ile potche at him some way,
Or Wrath, or Craft may get him.
875Sol. He's the diuell.
Auf. Bolder, though not so subtle: my valors poison'd,
With onely suff'ring staine by him: for him
Shall flye out of it selfe, nor sleepe, nor sanctuary,
Being naked, sicke; nor Phane, nor Capitoll,
880The Prayers of Priests, nor times of Sacrifice:
Embarquements all of Fury, shall lift vp
Their rotten Priuiledge, and Custome 'gainst
My hate to Martius. Where I finde him, were it
At home, vpon my Brothers Guard, euen there
885Against the hospitable Canon, would I
Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to th' Citie,
Learne how 'tis held, and what they are that must
Be Hostages for Rome.
Soul. Will not you go?
890Auf. I am attended at the Cyprus groue. I pray you
('Tis South the City Mils) bring me word thither
How the world goes: that to the pace of it
I may spurre on my iourney.
Soul. I shall sir.

895Actus Secundus.

Enter Menenius with the two Tribunes of the
people, Sicinius & Brutus.

Men. The Agurer tels me, wee shall haue Newes to
900Bru. Good or bad?
Men. Not according to the prayer of the people, for
they loue not Martius.
Sicin. Nature teaches Beasts to know their Friends.
Men. Pray you, who does the Wolfe loue?
905Sicin. The Lambe.
Men. I, to deuour him, as the hungry Plebeians would
the Noble Martius.
Bru. He's a Lambe indeed, that baes like a Beare.
Men. Hee's a Beare indeede, that liues like a Lambe.
910You two are old men, tell me one thing that I shall aske
Both. Well sir.
Men. In what enormity is Martius poore in, that you
two haue not in abundance?
915Bru. He's poore in no one fault, but stor'd withall.
Sicin. Especially in Pride.
Bru. And topping all others in boasting.
Men. This is strange now: Do you two know, how
you are censured heere in the City, I mean of vs a'th' right
920hand File, do you?
Both. Why? how are we censur'd?
Men. Because you talke of Pride now, will you not
be angry.
Both. Well, well sir, well.
925Men. Why 'tis no great matter: for a very little theefe
of Occasion, will rob you of a great deale of Patience:
Giue your dispositions the reines, and bee angry at your
pleasures (at the least) if you take it as a pleasure to you, in
being so: you blame Martius for being proud.
930Brut. We do it not alone, sir.
Men. I know you can doe very little alone, for your
helpes are many, or else your actions would growe won-
drous single: your abilities are to Infant-like, for dooing
much alone. You talke of Pride: Oh, that you could turn
935your eyes toward the Napes of your neckes, and make
but an Interiour suruey of your good selues. Oh that you
Both. What then sir?
Men. Why then you should discouer a brace of vn-
940meriting, proud, violent, testie Magistrates (alias Fooles)
as any in Rome.
Sicin. Menenius, you are knowne well enough too.
Men. I am knowne to be a humorous Patritian, and
one that loues a cup of hot Wine, with not a drop of alay-
945ing Tiber in't: Said, to be something imperfect in fauou-
ring the first complaint, hasty and Tinder-like vppon, to
triuiall motion: One, that conuerses more with the But-
tocke of the night, then with the forhead of the morning.
What I think, I vtter, and spend my malice in my breath.
950Meeting two such Weales men as you are (I cannot call
you Licurgusses,) if the drinke you giue me, touch my Pa-
lat aduersly, I make a crooked face at it, I can say, your
Worshippes haue deliuer'd the matter well, when I finde
the Asse in compound, with the Maior part of your sylla-
955bles. And though I must be content to beare with those,
that say you are reuerend graue men, yet they lye deadly,
that tell you haue good faces, if you see this in the Map
of my Microcosme, followes it that I am knowne well e-
nough too? What harme can your beesome Conspectui-
960ties gleane out of this Charracter, if I be knowne well e-
nough too.
Bru. Come sir come, we know you well enough.
Menen. You know neither mee, your selues, nor any
thing: you are ambitious, for poore knaues cappes and
965legges: you weare out a good wholesome Forenoone, in
hearing a cause betweene an Orendge wife, and a Forfet-
seller, and then reiourne the Controuersie of three-pence
to a second day of Audience. When you are hearing a
matter betweene party and party, if you chaunce to bee
970pinch'd with the Collicke, you make faces like Mum-
mers, set vp the bloodie Flagge against all Patience, and
in roaring for a Chamber-pot, dismisse the Controuersie
bleeding, the more intangled by your hearing: All the
peace you make in their Cause, is calling both the parties
975Knaues. You are a payre of strange ones.
Bru. Come, come, you are well vnderstood to bee a
perfecter gyber for the Table, then a necessary Bencher in
the Capitoll.
Men. Our very Priests must become Mockers, if they
980shall encounter such ridiculous Subiects as you are, when
you speake best vnto the purpose. It is not woorth the
wagging of your Beards, and your Beards deserue not so
honourable a graue, as to stuffe a Botchers Cushion, or to
be intomb'd in an Asses Packe-saddle; yet you must bee
985saying, Martius is proud: who in a cheape estimation, is
worth all your predecessors, since Deucalion, though per-
aduenture some of the best of 'em were hereditarie hang-
men. Godden to your Worships, more of your conuer-
sation would infect my Braine, being the Heardsmen of
990the Beastly Plebeans. I will be bold to take my leaue of
Bru. and Scic. Aside.